Two men were reportedly burnt to death in a lodge early yesterday morning in Dongri. According to the police, they got a call from the fire brigade regarding a blaze at the Maharaja Lodge at Kadhak, Dongri.
After bringing the fire under control, they found Pradeepan Narayanan, the lodge caretaker, and Kumar Narayanan, his colleague, charred to death inside the lodge. However, the reason of the fire could not be deciphered. The police found the lodge closed and the door locked with the duo inside the blazing lodge.
The lodge was shut since long following a murder on the premises on September 2. One Abdul Kadari, the manager of the lodge, was killed by a sweeper who was later arrested.
“My brother Pradeepan had taken the lodge on rent,” said Shahji, speaking from Kerala. “However, after the murder, the police shut the lodge and picked him up several times. He even paid them Rs 75,000 to allow him to reopen. He approached Rishiraj Singh, Joint Director (CBI) who asked my brother to approach local DCP Shisve, to no avail. However, the Dongri police continued to harass my brother for money.”
“On Tuesday night my brother called me and told me that the police officers were continuously harassing him. He also told me that they had called him to the police station. Next I hear the news of the death of my brother,” added Shahji.
However, Dongri police officials claimed that the duo had set themselves on fire with the intent to commit suicide. “We are inquiring into the matter,” said Vijay Mukhane, senior inspector, Dongri police station.